Going into gameweek 13 the expectation was a 55+ week. We went a little better and hit a rather pleasing 72 FPL points! This meant more green arrows for the FPL Updates XI, the 9th week in the last 10 that we have seen a jump in the overall Fantasy Premier League standings. We had 2 free transfer’s, but made the decision to use just the 1, so let’s have a look at how we lined up last week.
Remember when I said I would be writing this article full of regret for benching Butland over Hennessey! Well after Butland registered yet another clean sheet on Saturday I spent about 80 minutes of Monday night football with crossed fingers praying for a Palace cleanie. Not quite. Our Palace duo of Dann and Hennessey combined for what was more Chuckle Brothers sketch than Premier League defending and in turn lost us at least 8 extra points in the process.
In front of him was a poor return of 6 points from our 3 defenders, Dann, Cedric and Kolarov. No clean sheet in site but at least we got an assist from the Man City left back. With 26m of our budget on our under performing back 5, decisions on changes in the coming weeks look ominous.
In front of them was a midfield where we had made the tough decision to drop one of the FPL elite, Alexis Sanchez, for his in form Arsenal team mate Mesut Ozil. A swap that reaped immediate rewards. Sanchez blanked again whilst the silky German delivered an assist and 3 bonus points. Alongside him we had Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian playmaker also returned us an assist and 3 bonus. It was yet another attacking return for him which makes it 7 goals, 6 assists and 20 bonus points from 12 games this season. Our highest scoring midfielder was Andre Ayew. Last week I said he was hanging by a thread in our team but Bournemouth at home is too good a fixture to drop anyone in fantasy land, and so it turned out. The Swansea man scored 1, made another and made it a hat-trick or maximum bonus points for our midfield. Unfortunately for us, De Bruyne couldn’t quite make it a full house. After a blistering start to his City career he has just 1 assist in the last 4 games. Ordinarily this would be of concern, but with Aguero back I’m absolutely adamant the attacking returns will roll in again.
Our front 3 included 2 of the most in form players in the league and they both stepped up for us. Jamie Vardy did what he does and made it 10 in a row whilst Big Rom Lukaku hit a very cool and calm brace against Villa whilst wearing the Updates XI armband. Our 3rd striker Graziano Pelle blanked, got booked, picked up a 1 game ban and subsequently found himself on the wrong end of our of our transfers. He had been warned!
With 2 FT’s in the bank we decided it was time to cash them both in and time for the big man to head back. Welcome back Kun!
Ayew (OUT) – Deulofeu (IN)
Pelle (OUT) – Aguero (IN)
Nobody puts Butland in the corner! After the decision to bench the Stoke stopper last week we have decided not to do it again, so he’s back. Granted, Hennessey probably has the more favourable fixture, but I simply cannot bench Butland against Sunderland.
Our defence is made up of Kolarov, Dawson and Dann who have Southampton, West Ham and Newcastle, respectively. Another week that I’m not pinning our hopes on huge defensive returns but there is certainly enough there to believe we can improve on last week.
Our midfield welcomes new man Gerard Deulofeu. Everton have been flying of late and with an upcoming 6 of (bou, CRY, now, LEI, new, STO) I’m astounded to see that at the time of writing he has an ownership of just 2.5%! I will confidently predict that to at least quadruple by gameweek 17. Alongside him is the trio of De Bruyne (SOU), Ozil (nor) and Mahrez (MUN). De Bruyne has seen 55k transfers out this week and I am baffled as to why! People will argue his last 4 games, but with Aguero back in the City line up KDB will be back in the points. In the 4 games they started together KDB hit 3 goals, 3 assists and 5 bonus points. Ozil has now recorded an assist in 7 straight games so little else needs to be added to his inclusion. Mahrez has the toughest match up but who drops him?
In our front 3 its record equalling Jamie Vardy. 10 games in a row! The more you think about it the more incredible it seems and how ironic would it be for him to break the record against United. What does need to be monitored at this stage though is the ridiculously tough schedule Leicester face in the coming weeks. It’s too early to talk about dropping Vardy but with a run of (MUN, swa, CHE, eve, liv, MCI) it’s worth noting for anyone with Leicester coverage. Next up is Kun Aguero. In all my time playing FPL I can safely say there has never been a player with such divided ownership opinion. He has completed 90 minutes in the league just twice this season, he is a mouth watering 13.1m and seemingly has hammy’s made out of cheese string, but my lord does he know how to find the back of the net. It’s like the argument of what’s better, boobs or bums, it’s all about preference! In our case we thoroughly appreciate what both City and the ladies have up top! Completing the strikeforce is that beautiful Belgian Lukaku. Surprisingly I took some stick on Twitter 3 weeks back when I tipped him to be the must have player going forward. His inconsistency and tendancy to blank was seriously called in to question but he has comprehensively quashed the doubts. 3 big games in a row and a fantastic December run of games upcoming has seen his price soar from 8.4m to 8.9m. With Bournemouth this week I think it’s a safe assumption that he will break the 9m barrier sooner rather than later. With this in mind we are handing him the armband for the 2nd week in a row!
After moving up 1.9m places to 228,683 since week 7 we are now setting our sights on the top 100k. With some nice match ups this week I’d like to think another week of green arrows are more than realistic! Good luck as always guys and a belated happy Thanksgiving to any American readers.
By FPL Guru